Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by wadpro, Oct 4, 2009.
No, it's where you can still see the sky -
I remember being told, "When you start learning to dance Tango and have 10 moves, you want to learn 25. When you've got 25 moves, you want to learn 50. When you've got 50 moves, you want 200. When you've got 200 moves, you only want to use 10." - BT
Exactly. Because when you come right down to it , how often does a "colgada into a volcada" actually express the music?
Trouble is, if you dont keep practising the moves, you start losing em..
I am the leader, so dating the teacher mmmm.
She is sweet and so, but I must lead her. :lol:
My teacher always that we don't learn combinations, we learn elements so we could combine them.
So when I watch YT I can analyze the movement and combinations of dancer, and perform them. :banana:
Or ask my teacher how can i do sth ...
Omar Vega used a variation of this to describe different levels of dancers. IT went something like:
A beginner tango dancer uses 5 steps
An intermediate dancer uses 10 steps
An "advanced" dancer uses 50 steps
A stage dancer uses 100 steps
A true milonguero uses 5 steps.
Forgive the paraphrase.. I can't remember it perfectly, but you get the gist...
That drives me nuts, Vega was a great dancer, a great teacher, a great tango historian, but, that sentence is as stupid as it can be! Why? Because he was a great tango dancer, and tango teacher.... , and a Omar Vega!
Simply look http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQKVtiYSMNA&NR=1
I assume that Vega means, an experienced dance can translate music into motion by using no more than five steps. However, how he dances the five steps - the musical interpretation - is the think that gives the lady an enchanting dance. That doesn’t mean that he will use only 5 steps when doing a demonstration or a show.
I wouldn’t call me a true milonguero. Ask me again when I’m in my sixties. However, I think I can understand him.
The first couple of years I never recorded anything. I was trying to learn everything about dancing tango and yes - I wanted to know every combination possible. I never missed the 90% percent of steps I forgot. I forgot them because I didn’t use them, and if I don’t use them, what where the good for anyway?
Eventually I ended up, with my favorite handful of combination, when dancing in a crowded milonga. Those steps I remembered well, because they suited me. I liked and used them a lot. They were somewhat the distillate of my tango journey, and they reflected my style. In way I’m very happy with that.
I started recording when I took up stage work, as I tend to forget former choreographies, when working on new ones and the camera is a much better proof to your own work than a mirror. With the stage tango as a valve for all those fancy combinations back in my head and a new calmness at the milonga, it finally dawned to me. It’s not the variety of steps but how they are danced,. how they convey the music. That’s what makes a dance wonderful for the couple.
Now I’m a little sorry that I havn’t started to recorded anything earlier. I would have missed the main points, as I was focused on steps, but there would still have been many interesting gems between the lines. That’s why I thinks, it’s much better to ask your teachers to film a short survey of them, than trying to write anything down yourself. There will still something left to discover later.
the few times I'd seen Omar dance in the milongas he danced in the way that Zoopsia describes, loosely quoting Omar, as "A true milonguero..."
I said it before and I'll say it again:
When I started dancing Tango I was PATHETIC
But after a year of private lessons I moved up to TERRIBLE
After two years of private lessons I moved up to Dismal
Another three years of privates and I moved up to TOLERABLE
I wonder where I’ll be after another five years of private lessons?
Maybe you should change your teacher.
I know some teachers that are really awful.
You could spend years with them and learn nothing.
Or maybe you are too hard on yourself.
Does your teacher know how to lead?
How often do you listen tango music?
How often do you practice that you are aware of every movement?
this is pretty much Miles Davis' approach to music; if you only do five steps in 2 minutes and forty seconds of music; then they had better be good ones (and you may freak out the follower. )
Yeah maybe 5-10 steps are enough for milonga dance but we should use more than 20 different steps to make our tango attractive.
Honestly, I know it's difficult to accept, but many followers - most followers, beyond a certain level - want to dance a few simple steps well. They're really not impressed with your move repertoire.
Weirdly, I knew this, intellectually, before I even started AT. But it's taken me several years to actually have the guts to throw away most combinations for most dances.
This is not borne out based upon discussions with followers I speak to and discussions at various festivals I attend. They suggest it is how you use the music rather than a repetoire as such that they are most interested in.
What I mean by using the music is that you convey your interpreation of the music in the way you dance. For me this means I try to dance the vision the music is producing in my mind. I may start walking just to the rhythm and then adjust as my interpretation of the music takes hold and I understand the connection with my follower. I then start to use slower or fast steps, longer or short steps, use different foot falls, change the way my body is shaped slightly, introduce a small amount of body rhythm. In other words allow my interpretation of the music and my feeling of how my partner is responding to dictatate the steps I use and not try to fit in previously practised sequences.
That then suggests that you should be learning how to improvise and interprete the music for yourself.
What I have found is most regualr classes do not teach this. They follow the "teach a pattern" route. Which for AT, an improvisational dance is only a small part of the learning process, if at all. Unless you are very lucky you will need to find places that teach improvisation and personal musical interpretation. For instance in Europe there are some festivals I can recommend, I am sure there are in the USA and from the various threads on this forum that is certainly the case in BsAs.
That said, I think if you are dancing to nuevo or alternative music then the way you dance may be more open and allow for bigger moves or some sequences but this music generally is less than 15% of a normal Milonga evening, if at all. So I am concentrate on learning the other 85% at the moment.
Wadpro - I have to disagree. As a follower, many of my favorite dances have been with leaders who "walk the music" so beautifully it's like being lost in the music itself. There's nothing like it. I've danced with leaders who led dozens of well executed steps and patterns, and felt no connection at all to the music or to me. Like I didn't even need to be there at all. Sorry, but Ant is right on the money.
This might be as much about semantics as anything else, but how many different steps are there? 20 seems awful high to me. I know there are some different model for how to describe steps. There are front, back, and side steps. Then some people count "diagonal" steps (like the cross, or back crossing and front crossing). The other main/fundamental element are pivots. I think any other "moves", are combinations of steps and pivots, possibly accompanied by some type of embellishment.
How do others view this?
What I think wadpro is talking about are moves like ganchos, sacadas, vocadas, colgadas etc within a sequence. If his learning process and thinking has been anything like mine you are for instance taught a gancho as part of a sequence in a class. You then think you know how to do gancho's. You go to a Milonga and unless you are very lucky or exceptionally gifted you have little or no success at reproducing the sequence you require.
As you have said DC all the moves are a combination of the basic steps and you need to get the required technique into your body. This only comes with a lot of hard work and time. Then if the music inspires a particular move within your mind you can do it. Starting from the premise that I now want to do a gancho and try to do it just doesn't work. It doen't fit the music and your partner is not really with you.
I would disagree. I know a few people who dance AT and show off all their memorized step combinations. They think they look good, but looking at the expression on the face of their partners, you see surprise, confusion, annoyance. I think your partner's facial expression is a gage on how well you dance. You are after all, dancing for her, and not for the audience.
Anyway, IMHE, after doing this for a few years, I'd like to think that I know a lot of steps. But, when on the milonga floor, I only gravititate to using (about) 3-4 (e.g. caminadas (walks), Ochos, giros, etc.). The difference is in how you insert pauses, surges, hesitations, variations in pace, tempo, and rhythm based on your interpretation of the music. I like simple.
Right. You can do each of those three, or four, or five steps many different ways. So it ends up feeling and looking different each time even if it's technically the "same" step.
Just to play devil's advocate here, I think people are being a little harsh on beginners. Sure, a master dancer can do 5 moves and make them creative and amazing, but how does one get to be a master? For some it might be possible to practice only 5 moves over and over for years, but that sounds really kind of boring.
And for those who've never had any formal dance training in their lives, simply putting motion to music can be a struggle. Learning to move the body is part of the journey, and a large part at that. In that case, patterns are a means of teaching the body to move in different directions, making the connections in the brain, and showing the student the different possibilities. As long as the student understands that out of the many patterns they learn, most of them aren't used that often, it doesn't hurt to learn as many as they can.
And as for writing them down, it's well known that writing things down when you learn them creates a stronger link to your memories.
Separate names with a comma.